Cover artwork by Mat Kaminski. Released on Friday 20 January 2023.
Cthulhu Dreamt is a concept project from Reed Reimer—composer, writer, musician, producer and Fable Factory lead—exploring themes of loss, fear, depression, and battling elements larger than ourselves. Precursor appears to be the fifth release from the Cthulhu Dreamt project.
This release is described as an EP, but at 15 tracks and clocking in at a little over 56 minutes, this is longer than many full-length albums.
The more I have looked into this project, the more it has drawn me in. It is quite extraordinary. Musically, this eclectic and rather avant-garde collection of metal, orchestral, and synth-based music resists any definite attempt at classification.
Created within months after the release of Liminality (2022), the Precursor EP includes music and information that became a reference for the next major release from Cthulhu Dreamt, the original game soundtrack (OST) for an upcoming multi-sensorial table top role playing game (TTRPG) called Cthulhu Dreamt.
As well as the new material, the second half includes covers and remixes by members of Cthulhu Dreamt, and artist friends in a variety of styles, that could very well exist within the sound world of Cthulhu Dreamt.
As the band said, “With the first seven tracks of the EP consisting of new music, we wanted to have some more fun, so we invited some friends and awesome creators to create some remixes of a couple tracks, as well as re-imagining some of our tracks again, which is quite fitting given that the world of Cthulhu Dreamt contains multiple universes.”
From the opening track, “EDGe before nothing” (track 1), a heavy, melodic track that misses no punches to the unexpected monastic chant of “Harbinger” (track 2) which is a soaked in luscious reverb and chilling atmosphere, to the news announcement ‘voice over’ of “Precursor” (track 3)—these opening three tracks give an immediate insight that this is a release that is guaranteed to deliver surprises.
What this EP perhaps lacks in coherence—as you might expect with a project of this nature and with half the release dedicated to remixes—it more than makes up for in intrigue and creativity. As an insight into what the OST may deliver it certain has piqued my interest. That table top games are beginning to bridge that divide between real world and digital—check out Beasts of Balance to see this being done really well, this is an exciting development.
Review score: 70%
MDPR contacted me inviting me to preview Cthulhu Dreamt’s latest album, thank you. I have no connections to either MDPR or Cthulhu Dreamt. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Zach from MDPR, and to Cthulhu Dreamt for continuing to create fresh, exciting new music.